It is a dark overcast day here in central Arkansas. I’m waiting on the storms, they came in last night and are expected to last most of the day. Along with the bad weather I get to enjoy a nasty headache. I have written about my battle with migraines and depression, but I don’t think I have ever openly discussed how bad my anxiety can be in social situations. I have always done my best to avoid them. Yesterday, I went to an social gathering for school. I am in my second semester of American Sign language. I attended a fund raiser at the Arkansas School for the Deaf. Many of my class mates also attended so there were a few people there that I knew. My wonderful other half accompanied me knowing that I don’t fare well at large social functions. I also had the added stress of this being large part of my grade for the course. I met and talked with several people they were warm and patient with me.
I have never been on medication for my anxiety. It took me two full semester to be semi-comfortable in the student center where I like to hang out between classes. I have a few regular friends that I sit with, that helps too then I have someone to focus my attention on. I try to avoid situations where I’ll be in an unknown place with a lot of strangers. I’m also a very introverted person. I like to say it is just part of my personality. I don’t know if my anxiety stems from my migraines or not, they have giving me many permanent issues. I am light and noise sensitive regardless if I have any type of headache. There are certain things I can’t eat. I am very dependent on my routine to keep me form getting a migraine and limiting the other headaches I get. These are simple things most people don’t even thing about, like eating regularly and going to bed and getting up at about the same time everyday. This is my ‘normal’ it is definitely not easy, but I have learned a lot about life and what is truly important. My migraines have also made me a much stronger person.
I have spent so many years of my life doing doing for others. While this seems like a great thing there is a point when it becomes detrimental to one’s spirit. I am about to submit my first article for publication. I am excited and terrified all at the same time. At this point I am more concerned with the experience than the compensation, but as a full time college student I also need to do basic things like eat and pay bills. Even though I have just started walking this road, I truly feel that I have after many years of searching that I have finally found my calling.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”
Henry David Thoreau-US Transcendentalist author (1817 – 1862)
I mentioned in my last post that I’m re-reading Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles. This is one of my favorite books on getting what we want out of life. The principles used by Canfield, translate into all areas, including the business or employment side. The first major concept is taking full responsibility for our current situation. For example, I went back into a relationship knowing the personality of the person and should not have been surprised with the outcome. That was my fault and I rectified it. In that situation I hadn’t yet come to the realization that I deserved so much better. When I finally did a few doors shut, but they needed to and a whole new world opened up to me. I have essentially left my old world behind to forge a new one, complete with a wonderful man.
Making life altering changes is a lot of hard work and there is no easy road. I get up at five am three days a week to make a 130 mile round trip for school. I want my bachelor’s degree it is just that simple and this is what I have to do to get it. Most people aren’t willing to go to such lengths. I have to drive farther because I live in the country, again it is all about the choices we make. Breaking a large thing into smaller chunks makes it more manageable. Instead of thinking of my bachelor’s degree as a whole I break it down into semesters, then each semester into two major parts, midterms and finals. Finally, what do I need to accomplish each week.
Lake Degray last summer.
Another principle is having a clear road map with goals including date of completion, the more specific the goals the better and more likely we are to achieve it. That is what I am working on now. I am a senior in college. I want to have a portfolio of writing projects ready by the time I graduate if not sooner. I started working on that goal this weekend by submitting writing samples to a professional blog. I am applying for a contributing writer position and I should hear something by the end of the month.
In order to find time in my busy schedule, and make it part of my routine, I decided I would write my new posts each Sunday morning. Thank you to all those who make the Fireside Journal a part of your morning routine.
I officially changed my major last week. Any doubts I had about my new direction were laid to rest when I met with the chair of the technical writing department. I was worried that the five English courses I had taken would not count toward my new degree however, those classes now make up my minor. Next fall will be an exciting semester for me, I will complete my minor, language and lower level math requirements. Including fall semester, I have four more semesters until I graduate with my bachelor’s degree. I am finally starting to see light at the edge of the proverbial tunnel.
I am re-reading Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. I will post each week to give an over view of the book and how it has helped me make changes to some of my self-defeating behaviors.